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The Little Things: Canning Jar Sleeve

I have so many little projects on my mental to-do list. Big ones, too, but mostly small ones, which have turned into brain clutter. When I winnowed down my collection of sewing/d.i.y. magazines, I came across the instructions for a few of those, and even found a couple of new ones. These projects are currently taking up residence in my lovely new works-in-progress basket (which is appropriate, seeing as how there haven’t been any actual works around here lately), and I’m going to do my best to burn through them in a quick fashion.

First up, the canning jar sleeve:

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So, I’m driving the kids to school a couple of weeks ago, and I brought along my trusty mason jar of ginger tea. No biggie, right? I pull up to the stop sign, take a sip, and had a sudden flash: what with the jar and all, it sure might look like Mama needs a little “eye-opener” to get popping in the morning. And then when I mentioned this to my husband, he laughed and laughed, and right then I knew it was time to dress my favorite drink vessel with some respect.

That, and it pleased me to no end to use up a couple of pretty remnants.

 

Dapper

Dressing a boy is not nearly as much work as dressing a girl. For one thing, the options are limited. Most of the time, I find this to be a good thing; no fuss, no muss. I can buy a stack of shirts and a stack of shorts at the beginning of the summer, and that’s all she wrote. Mix and match, my friend — it’s all good.

A couple of times a year, though, it’s a real pain. Want to find something fancy for your little girl? Pick a store, any store! You may not be wild about the selection, but you’re sure to be overwhelmed by the choice. Thinking about sprucing up the young man (without turning him into Little Lord Fauntleroy, which will hit you in the pocketbook and is doing him no favors I’m just saying)? Well, good luck to ya. You might find a few outfits, but I’m not a huge fan of “outfits”. Could I just get a tie? Maybe one that’s not blue striped?

I will say that I managed to find a couple at Children’s Place [think I was lying about the blue striped thing?], but the one I picked online doesn’t match the sweater I picked out. Also, much to my secret delight, he said he’d rather have a bow tie. Well!

Once again, a big thank you to you crafty sisters out there. I found this tutorial yesterday, and cranked this out immediately:

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Pretty hip with the t-shirt, don’t you think?

Anyway, I was thrilled with how this turned out. (It’s the little things.) I can’t wait to make more, although I’m not sure how many he’ll need. Still! The only things I did differently were to use the machine instead of hand-stitching; pressing in a 1/4″ fold on each of the long sides of the neck-band rather than stitching and then turning it, because I go crazy when I have to turn narrow tubes like this; and when attaching the second piece of Velcro, I just folded the unfinished edge to the top — tucking it under the Velcro — so that it gets caught in the stitching when you attach the Velcro. [If you have any questions about any of that, just leave a comment and I’ll try to explain it more clearly.]

Isn’t it nice when something comes together quickly and easily? Celebrate the moment, friends!

Pattern Review: On-The-Go Diaper Clutch

Well, friends, today is a proud day: Heather just released her very first pattern, the On-The-Go Diaper Clutch. Cue the confetti!

Diaper Clutch Image

Let me tell you, I was all too happy to be a pattern tester. You know I love a new addition to my arsenal of baby gifts! No surprise, this one’s a gem; pretty and practical.

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My sister and I were talking about projects the other day, and I explained my take on “quick” projects. Usually, “quick” tends to cover anything that can be done in a day. And that’s true, to a certain extent, but when I spend an entire morning and part of the afternoon on something, and it ends up being pretty much all I have to show for my day, I have trouble looking upon it as “quick”.

That having been said, let me tell you that this here Diaper Clutch truly fits under the heading of capital-Q Quick. Fifty minutes from the time I cut the fabric [I take an inordinate amount of time selecting and cutting fabric, so I didn’t add that in] to the snipping of the final thread, to be precise. In fact, this is actually the second one I made. The first one…well, I don’t know what happened to it, to tell you the truth. I took it with me to show it off to the pattern creator herself, and now it’s nowhere to be found. It’s not like this is a first for me, but still. No worries, though — I knew it would only take me a hot second to make up another.

That’s the true test of a quick project: Will it still seem so easy to snap together when you have to tackle it again? This one passes with flying colors.

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If mine looks a little puffy, it’s because I subbed fusible fleece for the lightweight interfacing. Hey, it’s what I had handy. If you wanted to get all crazy and quilt the outer piece, the fleece would be the way to go. (I didn’t do that, mind you, but one could and it would be awfully cute.) Also, I tucked in the biggest hard-shell wipes pack known to man, which skews the appearance a little. It’s good to know it fits and closes well, but I’d go with a trimmer pack the next time. Or this time, when I pick up diapers to tuck into this gift in place of the giant swim pull-ups (yep, all that I had left in the house.)

Anyway, back to the pattern. Read it through one time before you get started, and you will be off to the races. The directions are super clear and very thorough. The pattern also includes some great tips for customizing your clutch. Try the ruffle closure; it’s really cute, and easy! (I know this, because I tried it out  on the first version. One day it’ll turn up and I’ll show you.)

Look how nice! Mom can just tuck it into her bag and go, and the diapers won’t be all mangled like they are when you throw ’em in loose. (I know all about this, too.) Neat and tidy.

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Don’t just take my word for it, though. Get a hold of this pattern, grab your favorite fat quarters or remnants, and an hour later you’ll see for yourself. In fact, Heather has graciously offered up two copies of her pattern for my lovely readers.

First two to comment win — GO!

Update: Congrats to my giveaway winners, Holly and Mrsgingras! Be watching your inboxes for you Simple Analogy pattern pdf.

Totes for Tots

OK! Finally handled the whole replace-the-camera-batteries thing, so now we can play a little catch-up.

(The wheels of progress really do move slowly around here.)

Made up a couple of totes for Craft Hope’s latest project, and managed to ship them off in the nick of time. That is, if you consider mailing them on the last day of the project “the nick of time”. (I don’t know why the 16th was the date firmly planted in my head, but there you go.) Since I had a bunch of cute fat quarters, I used this tutorial, which was very user-friendly. The only change that I made was to topstitch the pocket, which is just a matter of personal preference. The only bummer was that some fabrics have a really wide selvage, which makes a big difference when you’re using every last inch of fabric. Just something to keep in mind when you’re cutting.

March has been a whirlwind. As much as I hate the thought that the first quarter of 2012 is almost behind us [Whaaaat??], I’m kind of happy to see the end of this month. There was just too much going on and too many deadlines for my taste, but sometimes that’s just how it goes.

Can you tell that I’m in denial that “super busy” is our new normal? The brain simply does not want to process it; does not compute.